One of the more interesting stories developing over the past number of years is the growth of Habitat for Humanity. It is an idea, concept and charity whose time has come. Furthermore, I believe, that with the continuing boom in Canada’s real estate industry, coupled with increasing prices, Habitat for Humanity will continue to be in high demand. This is an interesting article from the Toronto Star. Read it HERE.
If you’re intersted in volunteering please visit www.TorontoHabitat.ca
Unless something important or interesting comes up this will be the last posting on this blog. I want to thank all of you for visiting us this year. I started this blog in the hopes of generating business, interest, and communication between you and I. And although we are far from dominating the real estate blogsphere we are well on our way.
Please keep checking back to keep in touch with all the wacky stuff that goes on in this interesting industry.
From everyone here at “THE Destination”, Merry Christmas, Happy Holydays, and all the best to you and your family for 2007!
MONTREAL (CP) – Canada will see “relatively modest” gross domestic product growth of 2.2 per cent in 2007 as the pace of world economic growth moderates and a slowdown in the United States acts as an anchor to expansion here, the National Bank (TSX:NA) predicted Wednesday in its quarterly outlook.
Rapid industrialization in Asia, where powerhouses China and India continue to gain steam, will ensure the continued expansion of the world economy, “albeit at a slower pace,” the bank said in a release.
An American slowdown already in progress “will spread in 2007 as American households become more focused on savings in the wake of the real estate sector’s nosedive,” National Bank said. “Although its fundamentals are among the most solid of all G7 nations, Canada will not be protected from the headwinds blowing south of the border in 2007, with a relatively modest 2.2 per cent growth in GDP predicted.”
Chief economist Clement Gignac said the bank believes a regional divide will continue between the hard-hit manufacturing centres of Central and Eastern Canada and the burgeoning Western provinces in 2007.
As natural resources continue to drive the Western economies, Ontario and Quebec will likely see economic growth under two per cent in the coming year.
The bank said it believes there are interest rate cuts on the horizon, with the “Bank of Canada’s key rate likely to total close to 100 basis points,” which is good news for Canadian households.
A drop in rates will likely produce a drop in the loonie, “which is expected to take a break from its climb of recent years and settle between 85 and 88 cents US before rising to trade on par with the greenback by the end of the decade.”
In another report Wednesday, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said the economy will be hit by several speed bumps in the first two quarters in 2007, producing slower growth and slightly higher unemployment.
The business lobby group said Canada’s average annual real GDP growth will be 2.8 per cent this year, slowing to two per cent in the fourth quarter. Growth will average 2.4 per cent in 2007 because of the weaker American economy.
In its forecast, the Ottawa-based chamber predicts:
– The national unemployment rate will rise to 6.4 per cent in 2007 from 6.3 per cent this year.
Housing affordability down despite stable borrowing rates, says RBC EconomicsDecember 20, 2006 – 10:43 a.m.
TORONTO (CP) – Housing affordability diminished for the fourth straight quarter in Canada despite stable borrowing rates and a decline in utility costs but the cost to own a home will likely abate somewhat next year, RBC Economics said Wednesday.
House prices continued to climb across the country, the economics wing of Royal Bank (TSX:RY) said in releasing its quarterly Housing Affordability Index.
“Across Canada, housing affordability further eroded as rising house prices outpaced income growth in the third quarter of 2006,” assistant chief economist Derek Holt said in a release.
“However, affordability is likely to improve slightly next year as the lagged effects of fourth quarter mortgage rate declines, easing energy price pressures and a topping out of home price appreciation will have a positive impact for home buyers.”
The pace of the decline in housing affordability eased somewhat during the quarter almost everywhere except Alberta, though that province will likely see an improvement in affordability as well in 2007, Holt said.
According to the RBC index, which measures the proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home, condos remain the most affordable housing class, with an index of 28 per cent.
Standard townhouses were the next affordable class at 32 per cent, followed by a detached bungalow at 40.2 per cent. The standard two-storey home is still the least affordable housing type with an index reading of 45.8 per cent, the bank said. Both new home construction and resales are expected to soften in 2007 while the overall volume of home sales activity remains high and the majority of home equity gains seen in recent years should also be retained, the report said.